Suzuki SX4 known/common problems

  • The most common problems to look out for
  • How to avoid buying a bad used example
  • Our Top 10 checklist to aid buying a Suzuki SX4

Suzuki SX4 silver, front

If you're looking to buy a Suzuki SX4, it's worth getting familiar with its common problems, so you can avoid being caught out by them. Read on to get the full expert view on these reliable, dependable and popular crossovers.

Introduction

The Suzuki SX4 is a small crossover that predates the popular use of the term. Launched in 2006, it took the place of the Liana in showrooms; several years later we're watching tall SUV-esque cars taking the place of saloons and hatchbacks in carparks, too.

Unlike its previous small 4x4s, which were based on a separate chassis and very focused on off-road ability over comfort, the SX4 kept the ride height and visibility of cars like the Grand Vitara, but used mostly conventional hatchback components underneath. Developed in partnership with Fiat (its version was sold as the Sedici), the interior is more European in feel too. There's also a small saloon version, though that is rather rare and front wheel drive only.

Top 10 problems

Buying guide – common issues, and what to look for if you're looking at getting one.

1 – Want 4x4?

Look for a Fiat Sedici too – they're a little harder to find, but more of them have all-wheel drive, and they're generally cheaper than the Suzuki.

2 – Has it been serviced?

On higher-priced examples look for good history, including tyres replaced as full sets on 4x4 models – not critical, but good practice.

3 – Four-wheel drive checks

Also on 4x4 models – make sure the system is working properly. It can be locked in front-wheel drive, left in auto with a variable front/rear split, or locked in 4x4.

4 – Interior checks

Interior trim is basic, but tough.

5 – Bodywork checks

Rust protection is fairly average, so check older examples particularly around the front crossmember.

6 – Which engine is best?

Later petrol models are preferable for power and economy.

7 – Diesel problems

Check 1.6 diesel for EGR and turbo faults, also injector leaks. Check 1.9- and 2.0-litre diesel for starting issues, particulate filter blockage.

8 – Electrical problems

Most issues can be traced to a damaged cable under the bonnet, which chafes against the top of the inner wing. If there are any signs of damage here, you can repair it with insulating tape if you're early enough.

9 – Has the recall work been done?

Check the service book for recall work to be sure that anything needed has been attended to – or go to the DVSA website.

10 – Squealing brakes

The SX4 chews through pads quite quickly and when they're getting low, they start to squeal. Run them for long like this and the discs will be damaged – so look for scoring on the brake discs, or a lip around the edge.

Why choose the Suzuki SX4 over a hatchback?

You could ask the same question of all those buyers taking on Aronas over Ibizas, GLAs over A-Classes and so forth, and the answer is probably going to be the same. An authoritative driving position that at the very least, puts you on a level with current cars instead of sitting below their drivers' eyeline.

It's got a softer ride than many sporty hatchbacks, with better comfort on pothole-infested roads, and there's the implied status of a 4x4 to consider as well. If style and exclusivity is important, the rarer Fiat Sedici stands out with plastic body cladding.

Suzuki SX4 interior

Many drivers feel safer in a taller car, too. The SX4's Euro NCAP performance is merely average, with four stars for the 2006 version, but it's good for the price and type of car and the improved visibility and security of all-wheel drive in tricky conditions helps to avoid the need for crash protection in the first place.

Is the Suzuki SX4 really that advanced?

Technically, no – it's made of a cross over (sorry) of parts from Suzuki and Fiat's car ranges, all proven technology. Diesel 4x4 models are equipped with either 1.9 (120hp) to 2.0-litre (135hp) Fiat MultiJet, while front-wheel drive examples can also have Ford/PSA 1.6-litre engines. Petrol versions in two- and four-wheel drive form (4Grip) got a 108hp 1.6-litre four cylinder from Suzuki - later versions of this are more sophisticated and refined.

Suzuki SX4 2010

In concept, though, it's a decade ahead of its time. Most models are front-wheel drive, despite the 4x4 looks, and it handles and rides like a sporty hatchback with sharp turn-in and a city-friendly size that is easy to park, seats four adults in comfort and has plenty of room for shopping.

Go for all-wheel drive, and no extra thought is needed when driving it – it'll automatically engage the rear wheels when required, though you can override that for off-road excursions or economy. Unlike the Vitara and Jimny, it won't be shaming Land Rovers on green lanes, but it'll cope with a muddy field, rutted farm track or snow-covered hill remarkably well.

Where's the Suzuki SX4 now?

It's still around – a new model introduced in 2013 called the SX4 S-Cross updated the interior, engines and styling, and as before it falls between the smaller Swift and more SUV-esque Vitara. Fiat no longer market a version, though, and there's no saloon version.

How much should I pay for a Suzuki SX4?

Used prices: £695 - £7,770
New price (2013 on): £17,499 - £26,099

>> Find a Suzuki SX4 for sale on Parkers
>> Find a Fiat Sedici for sale on Parkers
>> Read Suzuki SX4 owners' reviews